In this twelfth installment of a 14-part series of monthly articles, The Combustion Institute recognizes the 2017 Distinguished Papers selected from among the scientific papers presented during the 36th International Symposium on Combustion. Congratulations to Lin Ma, Qingchun Lei, Jordan Ikeda, Wenjiang Xu, Yue Wu, and Campbell Carter for winning the DPA in the Diagnostics colloquium.

The authoritative paper, Single-shot 3D flame diagnostic based on volumetric laser induced fluorescence (VLIF), explores methods to obtain three-dimensional measurements of turbulent flames. The research described in the paper was motivated by the environment and energy sustainability issues.

Obtaining three-dimensional measurements represents a key missing piece toward the design of energy devices that can perform cleaner and more efficiently. The scientific team successfully developed and demonstrated a technique to enable such measurements. The research and experiments reveal how the team obtained single-shot three-dimensional flame-surface measurements based on volumetric laser-induced fluorescence (VLIF).

The immediate impact of the paper is to provide multi-dimensional experimental data that have not been available in the past for model validation and model development. In the long-term, this work will promote new and fundamental knowledge about the long-standing problem of turbulence-chemistry interactions. The scientific team’s contributions will help find future solutions to energy and environmental sustainability issues.

Beneficiaries of the findings in the paper include researchers and engineers within the broad thermal-fluid science community. Almost all thermal and fluid problems are inherently turbulent and three-dimensional. The new techniques introduced that can enable acquisition of three-dimensional experimental data carry numerous research benefits.

The experimental work described in the paper mainly took place in Dr. Carter’s laboratory at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), United States. The rest of the research was conducted in Dr. -Ma’s former laboratory at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, United States. Research efforts for the paper started in 2011, the major experiments were completed in AFRL during the summer of 2015, and data analysis was completed and the paper submitted to the 36th International Symposium on Combustion by the end of 2015.

About 1,300 papers were submitted to the 36th Symposium in 14 combustion science colloquia. Those papers were categorized by teams of colloquium coordinators and co-chairs, and then distributed to approximately 1,000 scientific reviewers. One paper in each discipline was awarded the recognition of Distinguished Paper.

The 14 Distinguished Papers undergo committee review for consideration to receive the Silver Combustion Medal that will be awarded during the 37th Symposium in Dublin, Ireland. A paper selected for this honor exemplifies quality, achievement, and significance to advance a field of combustion science. Distinguished papers are selected biennially from among the scientific papers presented during the International Symposium on Combustion and accepted for publication in the Proceedings of The Combustion Institute.